How to Properly Use Wood Screws

How to Properly Use Wood Screws

Woodworking is a fantastic hobby, and if you get skilled enough, it can be a fun way to make some extra money, too. It doesn’t matter what type of wood you choose or what you’re building — all of your projects will have one thing in common. You’ll always need something to hold the wood together. While you have a few different options, wood screws are the most popular method for connecting pieces of wood.

By combining wood screws with wood glue, you can create nearly indestructible projects. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you properly use wood screws.

Learn the Different Head Shapes

Not all wood screws are the same. Different head shapes have various applications, and what you might use to build a deck might not work for a bookshelf or a bed frame. Flathead screws, for example, are flat on the top but tapered underneath to help them sit flush with the surface of the wood as long as you drive them correctly. Roundhead screws, on the other hand, are better for attaching objects to wood. Oval-head screws are a cross between the two, sitting slightly above the surface, but still creating a decorative look.

Learning different head shapes makes it easier for you to choose the right screws for the job.

Avoid Stripping Screws

There’s nothing worse than driving a screw wrong and messing up part of your project — other than stripping screws, that is. It’s easy to strip the head right off, leaving you with a whole different can of worms. Make sure you’re using a fresh drill bit when driving screws into wood. An older bit can slip and cause the head of your screw to strip.

Choose the Right Size

There are so many different sizes of wood screws that you might find yourself struggling to find the perfect ones for your project. Be careful when making your choice — you don’t want a screw so long that it sticks out the other side, or one that’s so large that it causes your wood to split. Take careful measurements and choose fasteners that are the right size to get the job done without causing problems or presenting a hazard.

Drill a Pilot Hole

Sinking your screws directly into the wood might work well most of the time — until you hit that one piece in the wrong way, splitting it in two and leaving your project in shambles. The best way to avoid this is to drill a pilot hole before putting your screw into place. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a smaller drill bit than the size of the screw. Drill a small hole, then use that to place your screw. If you don’t have a power drill, you can achieve the same thing with a nail that’s slightly smaller than the size of your screw. Hammer it into place and carefully remove it.

Have Fun With Your New Project

That’s all there is to it. While the sheer number of wood screw options might be intimidating, once you know how to choose the right ones for your project — and how to seat them without stripping them or splitting the wood — the hard part is over, and all that’s left is to enjoy your woodworking hobby.

Martin Banks is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modded. Find him on Twitter at @TModded

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